January 9, 2012
Hoi polloi versus the upper crust
A more or less standard Depression-era romantic drama, except this one has plot elements which stretch credulity to the breaking point. (Newsboy becomes a millionaire overnight, etc..) A poor guy (Lou Ayres) looses his girlfriend (Helen Mack) to a rich dude (Victor Varconi). He then sets about getting his revenge by peddling a gazillion newspapers. (Who knew it could be that easy?) Veteran character actress Alison Skipworth appears in a supporting role. Victor Varconi is the large cast's only weak link.
Republic Pictures' production values are first rate, beginning with a well-staged Brooklyn street scene. Regardless of the screenplay's absurdities, this can be an enjoyable little rags-to-riches romance. However a determined suppression of disbelief is required. The complete print has excellent video quality. The audio is a bit thin, but fully intelligible.
CAST NOTE: Helen Mack (a.k.a. Macks) was an actress of modest talent who could be quite appealing in certain roles. Helen began her on-again, off-again film career as a child star in 1923. She ended it in 1945 when she left the big screen to become a successful radio and television producer. Here is a list of her films currently available at IA. (I might have missed a few.):
Fit for a King - complete (avoid the edited versions)
The Wrong Road (re-release edit, listed as Wrong Road, The)
King of the Newsboys
His Girl Friday (supporting role)
The Milky Way (Thanks, Moongleam)
Power Dive (supporting role)
Plus four of her better known films which aren't available here, but are available on DVD (except for one):
Son of Kong
She (1935, fully restored and colorized versions)
Kiss and Make-Up (with Cary Grant)
Girls of the Road (TCM is the only current source)